Nottingham Forest had a ridiculously busy transfer window in the build-up to the current season, and their plans changed when Chris Hughton was appointed as manager back in October.
One of his first acts saw Anthony Knockaert arrive at the City Ground on loan from Fulham, to link up with the experienced boss again after playing a pivotal role in Hughton’s Brighton side that won promotion.
Given his pedigree at this level, signing the 29-year-old winger was considered a real coup for the Reds, and Forest managed to extend his loan until the end of the campaign just last month.
And, here we assess how the deal has worked on and check what could happen moving forward…
How’s it gone so far?
It’s getting better!
Knockaert didn’t really stand out after joining initially, although it should be said that the Frenchman was going into a side that was low on confidence.
However, Hughton kept faith in the 29-year-old, and he’s starting to repay that as he has improved considerably in recent weeks.
A goal in the win over Wycombe yesterday was Knoackert’s second for the Reds, but his overall performance was excellent. He was sharp, dynamic and showed signs of the player that has starred at this level previously.
Did these 25 players make more or less than 100 Nottingham Forest appearances?
What issues does he face?
There aren’t too many issues for Knockaert right now.
He is playing under a manager he clearly respects, he is starting games, and his future is sorted until the end of the season.
The only potential issue is the competition for places that Forest have. With Luke Freeman, Joe Lolley and Sammy Ameobi available, Knockaert knows that his standards can’t drop, but he thoroughly merits his place in the XI.
The big question surrounding Knockaert is where his long-term future lies, but there are several factors that will come into play when the campaign finishes.
Firstly, will Fulham sell to a fellow Championship side if they go down? Can Forest afford him on a longer deal?
There’s no doubting that Hughton will want the player, and that Knockaert would play under the ex-Newcastle chief, but it could be complicated in the summer, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.